Two first-round picks in the 2017 NFL draft have already been traded, but don’t expect that to be it by the time the first round concludes in April.
This week’s mock draft takes a look at what could happen when teams start to maneuver around the draft to target the player they want.
1. Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
Although the current front office regime of the Browns may place value on trades and acquiring additional draft picks, it’s hard to fathom them trading the first overall selection.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
If the 49ers aren’t convinced on one of the top quarterbacks, they should try and move off this pick while staying inside the top 10 to get Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster, a safety, or a wide receiver.
3. Chicago Bears: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Chicago is in a similar situation with San Francisco where a trade may be dependent on how they rate the quarterbacks. For now, the feeling is that the Bears will use the third pick on a quarterback. Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer is frequently mocked to Chicago, but you can argue that the more experienced Watson is just as ready to contribute in the NFL straight away.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jonathan Allen, DE/DT, Alabama
Re-signing Abry Jones to a four-year deal shouldn’t stop the Jaguars from targeting Allen, who is a consensus top-two player in this year’s draft.
TRADE - 5. Carolina Panthers (via Tennessee Titans): Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
The Panthers aren’t normally active making deals in the first round, but to ensure they get Fournette they may have to leapfrog the Jets. Moving from No. 8 to No. 5 may mean giving up the No. 72 pick, but a player like Fournette can change an offense.
6. New York Jets: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
The Jets may miss out on Fournette in this scenario, but Cook isn’t a bad consolation prize. He’s a good all-around back that the Jets can use in a variety of ways.
7. Los Angeles Chargers: Jamal Adams, S, LSU
If Tennessee moves off the fifth pick, it could leave the Chargers to take the first safety in the draft. Adams may not be the coverage safety that Ohio State’s Malik Hooker is, but he’s a player with few flaws in his game.
TRADE - 8. Tennessee Titans (via Carolina Panthers): Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
With two first-round picks this year, the Titans can be big movers to acquire more assets. Moving down a few picks in the top 10 could allow the Titans to get either the first wide receiver or cornerback, or go after an elite coverage safety like Hooker.
9. Cincinnati Bengals: Reuben Foster, MLB, Alabama
Foster’s fit in Cincinnati is perfect. Where Vontaze Burfict can be the thumping linebacker between the tackles, Foster can be the one who roams and relies on his smarts and athleticism.
10. Buffalo Bills: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
Obviously in this scenario the Bills are keeping quarterback Tyrod Taylor (which you can read more about the merits of here). If that happens, the Bills can take Lattimore, the draft’s top cornerback. With Stephon Gilmore entering free agency, Buffalo may need at least one starting cornerback this offseason.
TRADE - 11. Arizona Cardinals (via New Orleans Saints): DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
If the Cardinals want to get their quarterback of the future, they may need to trade up in the first round to do so. With Watson and Trubisky gone, Arizona could get aggressive and go after Kizer. He can sit behind Carson Palmer for a year, and Arizona may not have to give up much to make this move.
TRADE - 12. New England Patriots (via Cleveland Browns): Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
When will Jimmy Garoppolo’s trade value peak? It could be on draft night if we see this flurry of trades take place. That could make the Browns desperate enough to give up the 12th pick for him to ensure they get him.
For New England, getting this pick for Garoppolo would be a coup. They can target the very talented Thomas, the pass rusher their defense needs.
TRADE - 13. New Orleans Saints (via Arizona Cardinals): Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama
The Saints take some risk by moving back, but the depth of the draft this year is on defense. Williams can work in New Orleans as either a rush linebacker or with his hand in the dirt. Williams could have an impact similar to Bruce Irvin early in his career with Seattle.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (via Minnesota Vikings): Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
The Eagles have managed to stockpile a bunch of average wide receivers who have suspect hands. They can finally get a No. 1 receiver in this draft by taking Williams.
15. Indianapolis Colts: Teez Tabor, CB, Florida
The Colts often get a pass rusher or offensive lineman in mock drafts, but a cornerback should also be considered. Indianapolis finished near the bottom of the league in pass defense last season, and someone like Tabor could help make the defense better.
16. Baltimore Ravens: Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
Baltimore needs bodies in the secondary, and Wilson is the type of player who could work as a safety or cornerback. The Ravens are another team that could be prime for a trade down, especially if they decide to seek a defensive tackle with their first pick.
TRADE - 17. Seattle Seahawks (via Washington): Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
Trading up this far for Seattle at least means giving up their first- and second-round picks this year, but it should illustrate how badly the team needs an offensive tackle. Jumping up from No. 26 should allow them to take the best tackle on the board in Ramczyk.
18. Tennessee Titans: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
It was tempting to have Tennessee move down again, but Davis’ value is too great. He’s the exact type of immediate impact starter the Titans need in the draft this year.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jabrill Peppers, S/LB, Michigan
Keith Tandy had a breakout season for the Buccaneers, and he can be the team’s coverage safety while Peppers gets used in a hybrid safety/linebacker role. This pick, of course, assumes that Bradley McDougald leaves in free agency.
20. Denver Broncos: Forrest Lamp, OT/G, Western Kentucky
With Ramczyk gone, the Broncos fall back on Lamp, a player they could line up on the interior or at tackle.
21. Detroit Lions: Malik McDowell, DE/DT, Michigan State
The Lions should have plenty of options at No. 21, including tight ends and several players on the defensive line. If they trade down, they should still safely find a capable starter. In this mock they stick at 21 and go for McDowell, a player they can line up at end and tackle to create pressure.
22. Miami Dolphins: Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
On the linebacker-hungry Dolphins, Reddick could be an attractive pick because of his ability to line up outside and inside. He’s a complete player who should be able to start immediately.
23. New York Giants: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
At this stage of the draft Howard is too talented to pass up. He’s one of the 15 best players in the draft this year, and would finally give the Giants a dependable option at the position.
24. Oakland Raiders: Zach Cunningham, MLB, Vanderbilt
The Raiders will likely look to the draft this year to fill holes on the defense, and that starts at middle linebacker. If Cunningham is available, he should be a no-brainer pick.
25. Houston Texans: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
With A.J. Bouye poised to cash in big time in free agency, the Texans may need to go after another cornerback high in the draft or risk having a big drop off in coverage. That becomes a much easier proposition if teams are moving up for offensive linemen and a player like Humphrey happens to be available.
TRADE - 26. Washington (via Seattle Seahawks): Budda Baker, S, Washington
Obviously it’s risky for Washington to drop down eight spots, but general manager Scot McCloughan is never afraid to make a deal. In this case, gets an extra second-round pick, which should equal a starting-caliber player. It also allows Washington to pick up Baker at No. 26 and get a roaming coverage safety who has a penchant for making big plays.
27. Kansas City Chiefs: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
Most mock drafts have assumed the Chiefs will lose either safety Eric Berry or defensive lineman Dontari Poe. This week is an example of what could happen if both are brought back. If the draft shakes out in this fashion with Cunningham and Reddick gone, the Chiefs could go after a quality No. 2 cornerback. Both Jones and Ohio State’s Gareon Conley should be under strong consideration.
28. Dallas Cowboys: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
This is a pick I’ve locked in on if Barnett is available at No. 28. If a team doesn’t jump Dallas to get him, his fit on the Cowboys is natural.
29. Green Bay Packers: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
Green Bay’s pass coverage took a step backward last season, and a player like Conley could be a good addition to help improve the unit.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Takkarist McKinley, DE/OLB, UCLA
McKinley is too good of a player to drop further than the 30th pick. He’s a high motor defender who can stop the run at the edge, while still having the athleticism to work standing up for the Steelers.
31. Atlanta Falcons: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
This is another instance of a player’s grade being too high to pass on. Charlton has the size and athleticism to be a riser in the coming weeks at the NFL Scouting Combine. If he’s there for Atlanta at No. 31, the Falcons should pounce.
32. New England Patriots: David Njoku, TE, Miami
The Patriots should several good players to pick from at No. 32, which could lead to them trading out of the first round — especially if a team really wants to jump up and get Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes. In this scenario, the choice was down to Njoku, Washington wide receiver John Ross and pass rushers Carl Lawson and Charles Harris. Because the Patriots got Thomas at No. 12, a player like Njoku makes more sense here.